Today, I thought we could have a look at some resources for all you aspiring creators. I’ve done more than my fair share on research into the art of storytelling for the comic book medium, so here is a short list of resources pertaining to the moving image that I think may be quite useful. Enjoy!
COMIC BOOKS CONFIDENTIAL
Ron Mann's playful documentary works in two ways, first and foremost as an affectionate thumbnail history of comic books and the social attitudes that nurtured them, from the super patriotic fervour of the Second World War to the right-wing paranoia of McCarthyism to the counterculture underground of the '60s and beyond.
Elsewhere it's an introduction to almost two-dozen comic artists (the tag cartoonist doesn't do them justice) still plying their trade, all of them misfits, rebels, radicals, and malcontents.
Here’s an extract, an interview with Stan the Man from the 1988 documentary:
Here, the late father of Marvel Comics tells us about the need for heroes and how such a need spawned from US politics during his childhood. He also goes on to explain how his own creative influence was forged by the years of the depression. It’s a good interview in a very solid documentary that will be sure to aid any aspiring creative.
ROB AGER'S CHANNEL
Rob Ager is a film maker from Liverpool, UK who also has a side-line in film analysis, specifically pertaining to cinematic method and the subtleties of subliminal suggestion in movies. As a result, he analyses a lot of the films of Stanley Kubrick as well as movies filled with hidden meaning, such as The Exorcist and The Master.
Here is a video of his on the subject of Stanley Kubrick’s satirical masterpiece; Doctor Strangelove:
This video, like many of his others, really gets under the skin of the movie and explains aspects and techniques within that may not have been obvious to the casual film goer. If you’re a creative who aspires to places hidden messages and subliminal themes into your work - and if you can get over the way he pronounces the words, ‘look’, ‘book’ and ‘took’ in his Merseyside accent - then you’ll enthralled by his film analysis.
THE MINDSCAPE OF ALAN MOORE
It’s a documentary all about a favourite weirdo comic creator. It highlights Alan Moore's most popular comic books, focusing on interviews with the man and long talks of his inspiration and writing process, but eventually it becomes a rare piece of modern philosophy and a way to relate with the world that at least for me was entirely fresh and new. A view about magic that totally made sense to me, and a reflection on our day and age that is realistically terrifying. The documentary gives you an insight into Moore’s books, characters and mind.
You can watch the full length documentary free of charge on Youtube, but instead of posting that, I thought it better to link to a section of the film where Moore discusses magic:
If you want to know what makes this man tick, how he creates the images and the characters he does and how he physically embodies those characters to a certain degree - even the really psychotic ones - then I would recommend this documentary.
These resources hopefully will get your mind moving down the right path towards starting or finishing your project - I hope. Getting inspiration and insider knowledge on how an already successful creator made it is always a great way to get you into the right frame of mind.